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10 Key Ideas Behind EDA360

Comments(2)Filed under: Industry Insights, SoC, system, integrators, profitability, silicon, EDA360, creators, productivity

Cadence this week (April 27, 2010) released a "vision paper" that looks at some dramatic changes underway in the electronics industry - and shows how EDA must respond in order to prosper as an independent industry. In this blog, I'll briefly summarize ten key points from the document, entitled EDA360: The Way Forward for Electronic Design.

  1. Systems companies are finding differentiation and value through the creative, innovative applications or "apps" that end consumers are demanding. This is true not only in the mobile handset world, where iPhone and Android are obvious examples, but anywhere there's a processor.
  1. Systems companies are demanding that their semiconductor suppliers provide not just silicon but application-ready hardware/software platforms. Semiconductor makers, meanwhile, are facing projected SoC development costs of $100 million at 32 nm and below. One result of these pressures is that fewer companies will be design creators and more will become integrators who make heavy use of pre-designed IP, including both hardware and software.
  1. The needs of integrators are different from those of creators. Thus far EDA has focused almost exclusively on creators. While EDA360 continues to serve creators, it also brings new tools and methodologies to integrators.
  1. Creators are most concerned about a productivity gap. EDA360 will help close that gap through better design, verification, and implementation approaches. Integrators are more concerned about a lesser-known profitability gap. EDA360 will help close that gap by enabling integration-optimized intellectual property (IP) creation and selection, IP integration into SoCs and systems, and system cost optimization.
  1. EDA360 represents System Realization, the development of a complete hardware/software platform ready for applications development; SoC Realization, the creation of a single SoC including hardware-dependent software; and Silicon Realization, which includes complex digital, analog, and mixed-signal designs.
  1. The traditional approach to system development starts with the hardware, and appends the software and the applications later. With application-driven System Realization, designers start by envisioning the applications that will run on the system, define requirements, and then work their way down to hardware and software IP creation and integration. This flow requires some new and expanded capabilities.
  1. Part of System Realization is project management. EDA360 reaches beyond engineering teams to help customers meet project and business objectives.
  1. SoC Realization includes bare-metal software, most notably device drivers. IP will ideally be provided as a "stack" that includes design IP, verification IP, design constraints, and driver software. The drivers close the link between an application and the hardware, making it possible for an application to dynamically configure exactly the hardware it needs. An Open Integration Platform supports IP design, verification, and integration.
  1. Silicon Realization nearly always combines analog and digital design, but goes far beyond "mixed-signal" design as it's typically envisioned today. Silicon Realization involves the creation and integration of extremely large and complex digital, analog, and mixed-signal blocks.
  1. No one company or type of company can provide all the capabilities needed for the next era of design. EDA360 requires a collaborative ecosystem including EDA vendors, embedded software providers, IP providers, foundries, and customers.

This is a very short summary of a complex topic, so I encourage you to download and read the vision paper. Let's work together to create a prosperous EDA industry and a more innovative electronics industry. Feedback is welcome!

Richard Goering



By Sean Murphy on April 29, 2010
Richard: I hope in the coming weeks Cadence will move beyond marketing hyperbole and allow you to interview some customers so that we can read about actual results.

By rgoering on April 29, 2010
Sean -- EDA360 is a long-range vision just put forth this week, so it's a little soon for results! I have interviewed many customers in the past for Industry Insights, and will be especially interested in talking to customers about the concepts behind EDA360 going forward.

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